Bubble Watch: 'Community,' 'Smash,' and 'Touch' Return + 'Mindy Project' Upgraded

Categories: Bubble Watch

Written By

February 10th, 2013

Community returned higher to a 1.9 adults 18-49 rating at 8pm. I've got it "on the bubble" because there's only one data point. If Community stays in the ratings neighborhood it premiered in, it's a lock for renewal.

Smash's return wasn't as happy for NBC with its two-hour season premiere netting just a dismal 1.2 adults 18-49 rating, so dismal for a season premiere that even with only one data point I've got it as a likely cancellation. Consistency zealots who are Smash fans, feel free to wail "but Community only has one data point!"

In preliminary numbers, Touch returned to a 1.0 adults 18-49 rating in its two hour return. It started with a 1.1 in its first half hour and fell to a 0.8 adults 18-49 rating in its final half-hour.  I have it on the bubble for now, but though the ratings are similar to Fringe's, with only 26 episodes after this season, Touch will still be miles away from stripped (Mon-Fri) syndication. It's ratings may be similar to Fringe's, but it's in a different (some might say "sinking") boat.

I've probably been overly swayed by a twitter-feed full of TV media types, but my perception from reading them is that Mindy Kaling must be  the most lovable person in the history of the entire world and Fox will look for any reason to renew The Mindy Project. Is "it just posted its best 18-49 rating in four months" (with a 1.9) reason enough? Good enough for me to bump it up to a likely renewal.

Excluding Community, which is too soon to tell, I still have most of the low-rated NBC sitcoms (other than 1600 Penn which is a likely cancellation) on the bubble. Clearly they won't all be renewed, but looking ahead the picture is still cloudy. The return of The Voice might help clear the picture up but that return is still six weeks away and I doubt I'll wait that long to start downgrading.

Update: D'oh! My apologies to "Rules of Engagement" fans, I forgot to add "Rules" to the table or mention it. It's there now and it's "on the bubble"....

When it comes to bubble status, like the Renew/Cancel Index we're focusing on the likelihood that a show will be renewed **for next season** (2013-14).  Certain shows are toss-ups where based on the ratings, the renewal decisions could go either way and not be surprising.

Here, “canceled” is used interchangeably with “won’t be renewed for next season” and is not meant to imply a show will be yanked off the schedule in the current season though obviously the two outcomes are not mutually exclusive. The semantics police and lawyers should feel free to break out the handcuffs and plead their cases in the comments. 

This Isn't The Renew/Cancel Index

Though the basic methodology is the same (intra-network relative ranking of shows by adults 18-49 ),unlike the Renew/Cancel Index which predicts what would happen if the season ended now, Bubble Watch prognosticates about what will happen by May. The two are still usually closely aligned, and almost certainly very closely aligned towards the end of the season.

Note: only scripted shows that have aired at least one episode this season are in the table below.

Show Network Status
666 Park Avenue ABC Canceled
Don't Trust the B---- in Apartment 23 ABC Canceled
Last Resort ABC Canceled
Made in Jersey CBS Canceled
Partners CBS Canceled
Emily Owens, M.D. CW Canceled
Ben and Kate Fox Canceled
The Mob Doctor Fox Canceled
Animal Practice NBC Canceled
Do No Harm NBC Canceled
Happy Endings ABC Likely Cancellation
CSI: NY CBS Likely Cancellation
Vegas CBS Likely Cancellation
1600 Penn NBC Likely Cancellation
Deception NBC Likely Cancellation
Smash NBC Likely Cancellation
Up All Night NBC Likely Cancellation
Last Man Standing ABC On The Bubble
Malibu Country ABC On The Bubble
Cleveland Show, The Fox On The Bubble
Touch Fox On The Bubble
Good Wife, The CBS On The Bubble
Mentalist, The CBS On The Bubble
Rules of Engagement CBS On The Bubble
90210 CW On The Bubble
Carrie Diaries, The CW On The Bubble
Hart of Dixie CW On The Bubble
Nikita CW On The Bubble
Beauty and the Beast CW On The Bubble
Community NBC On The Bubble
Go On NBC On The Bubble
Guys with Kids NBC On The Bubble
New Normal, The NBC On The Bubble
Whitney NBC On The Bubble
Castle ABC Likely Renewal
Neighbors, The ABC Likely Renewal
Revenge ABC Likely Renewal
Suburgatory ABC Likely Renewal
Elementary CBS Likely Renewal
Hawaii Five-0 CBS Likely Renewal
Following, The Fox Likely Renewal
Mindy Project, The Fox Likely Renewal
Law & Order: SVU NBC Likely Renewal
Parks & Recreation NBC Likely Renewal
Grey's Anatomy ABC Certain Renewal
Middle, The ABC Certain Renewal
Modern Family ABC Certain Renewal
Nashville ABC Certain Renewal
Once Upon a Time ABC Certain Renewal
Scandal ABC Certain Renewal
2 Broke Girls CBS Certain Renewal
Blue Bloods CBS Certain Renewal
Criminal Minds CBS Certain Renewal
CSI CBS Certain Renewal
Mike & Molly CBS Certain Renewal
NCIS: Los Angeles CBS Certain Renewal
Person of Interest CBS Certain Renewal
Two and a Half Men CBS Certain Renewal
Arrow CW Certain Renewal
Supernatural CW Certain Renewal
The Vampire Diaries CW Certain Renewal
Glee Fox Certain Renewal
New Girl Fox Certain Renewal
Raising Hope Fox Certain Renewal
Chicago Fire NBC Certain Renewal
Grimm NBC Certain Renewal
Parenthood NBC Certain Renewal
Revolution NBC Certain Renewal
Big Bang Theory, The CBS Renewed
How I Met Your Mother CBS Renewed
NCIS CBS Renewed
American Dad Fox Renewed
Bob's Burgers Fox Renewed
Bones Fox Renewed
Family Guy Fox Renewed
The Simpsons Fox Renewed
Private Practice ABC Final SeasonFinished
Gossip Girl CW Final SeasonFinished
Fringe Fox Final SeasonFinished
30 Rock NBC Final Season Finished
The Office NBC Final Season


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  • Richard Steven Hack

    Body of Proof is going to die. It was on a fairly steady downward trend until the last three episodes. It will return lower than 2.0 – probably 1.8 or less – and drop from there down to probably around 1.2. It’s doomed. It’s simply not a compelling show, although it’s not awful.

    Its main problem is that Dana Delaney’s character is probably the least pleasant person on TV with the exception of any Mark Sheppard character. :-) And her male investigator is unutterably boring. Without Jeri Ryan for hotness, and the other two medical guys for comedy relief (the two cops are virtually irrelevant), the show would have died in season one.

    Bill is correct that there is no evidence for why it was renewed. It was one of the three shows that shouldn’t have been renewed based on ratings but were: Fringe, Nikita, and BoP. There are reasonable explanations for Fringe (extended syndication revenue) and Nikita (overseas syndication), but there’s no logical reason for BoP other than the notion some have suggested that ABC decided it could use the show as a mid-season replacement for another show and the uptick at the end of the season. But that uptick isn’t likely to last, so it’s a poor excuse.

    As for Max, I’d like to point out that despite his claim that he’s not a troll, he only posts to condemn Revenge in inflammatory terms and without any reasoning behind it and that is troll behavior.

    When I condemn a show, like I do with Revolution for example, I state reasons (usually, unless it’s a toss-off one-line comment just to re-iterate my dislike of the show) and I don’t compare it to other shows I’d prefer. Shows stands on their own (the only reason to compare Nikita and 90210, for instance, is because of the Friday factor.)

    I also don’t stay up all night waiting to make the first post just to beat on a show. That’s just stupid. :-)

    Max may not deserve to be banned, but he’s certainly one of the more irritating posters here. On the other hand, that’s good – it makes me only the second most irritating! :-)

    That said, I expect Revenge to get a third season even if it drops a few more tenths of a point – and then a fourth season for syndication. So Max can eat that just as I had to eat Fringe getting a fifth season.

  • Rare

    Why is Parks & Rec not a certain renewal? It’s NBC’s third highest-rated scripted show right now! No way it gets cancelled.

  • Dave


    I get the whole final season thing but look at what ABCF is doing with Secret Life. They’re announcing the last 12 oe 13 episodes of Season 5 or Season 5B as the network calls it as the final season. And to be frank, the show is doubling 90210’s numbers. Based on what I’m seeing, not one CW pilot is a teen drama and I have a feeling that The CW will be moving in a new direction that doesn’t need shows like 90210.

    If they were smart, they should call quits now and call it a day. If and only if they somehow decide to give it a farewell, it should be 6-6 episodes max to premiere in mid August right before The CW’s official fall schedule launches.

    They could keep Mondays for a teen night affair if they feel the need to:

    The Carrie Diaries 8p
    Dixie 9p

    This could be the new tag team like back in the day Gossip Girl and One Tree Hill but other than that, every other night should be more compelling with new intense scifi dramas.

  • Dave

    *Meant to say 6-8 episodes.

  • Ernie

    Please Save Guys with Kids which has had steady ratings.
    The New Normal and Go on’s ratings are awful compared to Guys With Kids which has been against a giant program, American Idol.

    It’s not fair. The New Normal and Go on has been put after The Voice. After The Voice is gone, how many ratings they have now ?
    NBC just believes Murphy..Don’t believe him too much. He doesn’t know how to make people laugh. He’s only trying to teach people through his sitcoms.
    I don’t watch The New Normal any more because of his teaching.

    Guys with Kids has been ordered only 17 episodes. That’s all? No more orders?
    I can’t stand this network! Why not give another 5 episodes!!!!~!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Laie

    The New Normal ain’t that good when Murphy goes all preachy with the script, but I think this will be only on season 1. First seasons are always difficult: introduce characters, make them evolve, etcetera. And since it is a gay show, I guess he felt that he “had” to put some educating lines in between, considering that gay marriage is a living discussion on every single state. I think, however, that all this is going to disappear in season 2 in favor of more laughs.

  • Lukes

    ABC gave Revenge a horrible timeslot… this sunday it had to compete with the Grammys, the Walking Dead, Family Guy, Downton Abbey, Shameless.

    All this plus a story that became so convoluted that it is very unlikely it will get new audience (at least in huge numbers).

    I feel a series low…

  • Dan

    @Lukes – ABC probably felt that Revenge could live up to that challenge of succeeding Desperate Housewives.

    @Rare – Parks and Rec will and should be bumped up soon. Give it a week or two.

    @Dave – There’s a difference between ABC Family and CW in that ABCF is out of the broadcast season. For cable Secret Life was a long running show and it was announced that the show would wrap at the end of the current season rather than just produce another one. Thats how cable shows work, it was done with Weeds, Greek and a lot of other shows. With broadcast shows on The CW scripts are written ahead of time so a final season wrap up around now would be unlikely. I could see CW making 90210’s season this year a final season but knowing what they did with One Tree Hill and Gossip Girl (Which had just as horrible ratings), I firmly believe CW will give 90210 a final season.

  • Dan

    @Richard Steven Hack – Networks renew shows all the time that are low rated without any justification. Especially NBC and we may not know why ABC renewed Body of Proof but they did and it came in handy as a Private Practice replacement. I do agree it will probably flop but look at its competition. Smash and Vegas are both flailing so BOP could come out the winner. Like all shows, I believe that if it doesn’t hold up in its slot, after 13 episodes it will be done.

    If it does hold up however, I do expect ABC to give it a place on the fall slot. Only time will tell.

  • Ultima

    So then the season’s end doesn’t coincide with the end of May sweeps? Because I was under the impression that the last day of the “regular” season was Wednesday, May 29.

    @Bill Gorman
    That is interesting. The May sweeps period is indeed Apr 25 – May 22, but I hadn’t bothered to look it up until now.

    However, I also had the end of the season as May 29 just on the basis of “35 weeks plus 3 days” after Sept 22.

    This also happened during the 2008-09 season; Nielsen originally had May sweeps go through Memorial Day, but then changed it to the usually pattern and apparently just cut the season down to 34.5 weeks.

  • SRD

    I’m afraid Beauty & the Beast is going to crash Thursday because of it being Valentines Day. I hope not, but I just have this feeling.

  • Ultima

    Please Save Guys with Kids which has had steady ratings.

    The ratings are steady, but bad.

    The New Normal and Go on’s ratings are awful compared to Guys With Kids which has been against a giant program, American Idol.

    They’re not awful in comparison; The New Normal has basically the same ratings as Guys with Kids, while Go On is doing better than it.

    Guys with Kids – 1.7, 1.3, 1.1, 1.2
    The New Normal – 1.3, 1.4, 1.2, 1.1
    Go On – 1.5, 1.7, 1.3, 1.3

    All three shows should be canceled, but I think NBC will keep Go On around for another season.

  • Jason


    Furthermore, I think NBC needs to go back to doing multi-cam sitcoms. The days of the single-camera sitcom may have been good during the mid-to-late 2000s, but people are getting a little fed up because they just don’t get the humor. NBC just can’t cancel all those new shows because that may have been all for nothing and they would feel like losers.

    I feel they should take a gamble on new subjects that sitcoms hated talking about, but would now be the right time to do so. CBS was a little hesitant on wanting to do sitcoms about war, but with “Hogan’s Heroes,” “Gomer Pyle, USMC,” and “MASH” having done well, why can’t NBC try this approach?

  • Joe Daniels

    Why would CSI: NY get a cancellation when it’s pulling in over 10 million viewers? Wouldn’t that be stupid?

  • Brad

    FYI – Parks and Recreation is going to be syndicated on the new Esquire (aka G4) channel this Summer.

  • mando

    Guys with kids has had steady ratings while The normal has decreased awfully which is no big hits against any strong hits.
    Why should NBC put TNN over GWK!
    Guys with kids has more broad viewers than TNN’s.

    I don’t why NBC doesn’t give another chance to GWK.
    GOOn and TNN totally depend on The Voice. If they are ever renewed, they can’t replace The office because they don’t do well without The Voice.

    The only answer to NBC comedy is to develop multi-cam block on Wednesday when ABC shows are spinning downward.

  • pete5125

    The final cw season is for 2 reasons number 1 it alows them to have 2 show in the netflix deal one woth a back catalog of episodes and one new also reason number 2 cw can only launch so many fall shows ….

    So my guess 90210 returns 10 episode final season
    Nikita will return as well as supernatural for final seasons

  • Holly

    @Joe Daniels,

    Why would CSI: NY get a cancellation when it’s pulling in over 10 million viewers? Wouldn’t that be stupid?

    10 million viewers on CBS isn’t a lot. Regardless, it’s the demo that makes the money for the network, so total viewers are only good for pr.

  • martin

    i think Smash will survive

  • SJ

    Possible reasons for Body of Proof’s renewal:

    – the California tax break (which it apparently got two years in a row)
    – procedural element => syndication potential
    – uptick near the end of the season, which is probably why 9 of its 13 episodes are going to air following the compatible DWTS
    – ABC wasn’t happy with their drama pilots + felt that Private Practice was going to end after 13 episodes (schedule spackle!)
    – its season average was 1.74, which, although bad, isn’t horrible and given the aforementioned tax breaks, likely still profitable for the network and studio
    – does well internationally (although there’s no real way to prove this)
    – ABC just wanted to stay in the Dana Delany business :D

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